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Discover Japan’s Ancient Spirit: Festivals and the “Eight Million Gods”

Japan, a land steeped in tradition and natural beauty, has long embraced the concept of “eight million gods.” These divine beings are believed to reside in every aspect of our world, from the majestic sun to the tranquil rivers, the towering mountains to the vibrant flora and fauna.

As you explore this enchanting country, you’ll find that the Japanese people have lived in harmony with nature for centuries. Their agricultural roots have fostered a deep reverence for the land and its inhabitants.

Tsukiji Shishi Festival

Seasonal Rhythms and Spiritual Connections

In spring, as cherry blossoms bloom, we sow seeds with hope for a bountiful harvest. Summer brings contemplation of life’s impermanence, as we remember the departed. Autumn arrives, and we express gratitude for the abundance bestowed upon us. And in winter, we pray for good health and well-being.

Origins of Festivals: A Dance for the Sun God

While each region boasts its unique festivals, they all share a common purpose: to deepen the connection between humans and gods. Whether it’s the lively Nebuta Matsuri in Aomori, the elegant Gion Festival in Kyoto, or the spirited Akita Kanto Festival, these events offer a glimpse into Japan’s soul.

Your Journey Awaits

As you travel through Japan, immerse yourself in these timeless traditions. Let the vibrant colors, rhythmic beats, and heartfelt prayers envelop you. Whether you witness a portable shrine parading through Tokyo’s streets or marvel at the mesmerizing Sumida River Fireworks Festival, you’ll carry the spirit of Japan with you.

Here are some of the most popular spring festivals held in Tokyo from May to June.

Kurayami Festival: Unveiling Japan’s Hidden Splendor

The Kurayami Festival, a captivating celebration that unfolds once a year in Fuchu City, Tokyo. From April 30th to May 6th, the Okunitama Shrine comes alive with ancient traditions, vibrant colors, and spirited performances.

Kurayami Festival

A Week of Enchantment

For seven magical days, the Kurayami Festival casts its spell. Imagine mikoshi shrines adorned with lanterns, floats parading through the streets, and the rhythmic beat of taiko drums echoing in the night. Each day brings new ceremonies, but the climax awaits on the final two days.

Origins and Legends

Fuchu, once known as Musashi Province, held a special place in the Kanto region. The Okunitama Shrine, founded in the 2nd century AD, stood at its heart. Legend has it that a sacred ritual, cloaked in darkness, protected the shrine’s divine spirit from prying eyes.

Kurayami Festival

A Youthful Tradition

Today, the Kurayami Festival continues its legacy. Teenagers flock to the festivities, often attending together on dates. Outside the shrine, colorful floats line the streets, children perform alongside adults, and lanterns illuminate the city. It’s like stepping into a scene from Studio Ghibli’s “Spirited Away.” ma Shrine comes alive with ancient traditions, vibrant colors, and spirited performances.

Sanja Festival: Tokyo’s Ancient Celebration
The Sanja Festival, a vibrant and time-honored event held annually at Asakusa Shrine in Tokyo. With a history spanning 700 years, this festival marks the arrival of early summer and draws 1.8 million visitors. Asakusa, with its Edo-era charm, comes alive during these three lively days.

Sanja Festival

The Binzara Dance: Harvest Blessings and Banishing Evil

At the heart of the Sanja Festival lies the Binzara Dance—a Shinto ritual filled with symbolism. As dancers move gracefully, they invoke blessings for a bountiful harvest of the five grains (rice, wheat, barley, beans, and millet) and drive away malevolent spirits.

The Mighty Mikoshi: Enhancing Spiritual Power

The highlight of the festival is the mikoshi procession. Imagine a portable shrine, adorned with sacred symbols, carried by devotees. As they lift, sway, and shake the mikoshi in all directions, they believe the god’s spiritual energy intensifies. Good harvests, abundant fish, and protection from plagues are the desired outcomes.

Sanja festival

When visiting the Sanja Festival, watch out for the mikoshi bearers—they carry their burden with fervor! Join the festivities, soak in the vibrant atmosphere, and celebrate Tokyo’s rich traditions.

Sanno Festival: Tokyo’s Time-Traveling Celebration

The Sanno Festival, a captivating event held at Hie Shrine in Akasaka. On June 7th, a grand procession of approximately 500 people, adorned in regal costumes, will wind its way from Hie Shrine to the Imperial Palace and through the bustling streets of Ginza. This magnificent parade stretches over 300 meters, covering a total distance of 23 kilometers in a day.

Sanno Festival

A Shrine with Royal Connections

Hie Shrine holds deep significance for the Tokugawa shogunate family, who once ruled from Edo Castle. Its history intertwines with the nation’s fortunes, as it provided financial support and prayers during critical junctures. The shrine gained prominence during the Tokugawa period, catching the attention of successive shoguns, including Iemitsu. Today, it stands as one of Japan’s three major festivals.

Time Warp to Edo Era

As you explore Tokyo, step back in time to the Edo period. Hie Shrine’s vibrant festivities evoke the spirit of ancient Japan, where tradition and pageantry come alive. The Sanno Festival offers a unique glimpse into the past, blending reverence, spectacle, and community.

Sanno Festival

Bon Odori: A Different Festival

While the grand procession captivates on June 7th, don’t miss the Bon Odori—a separate dance celebration held from 13th to 15th Jun. Tokyo’s heart beats with history, and Hie Shrine invites you to join the rhythm.

Tsukiji Shishi Matsuri: Tokyo’s Roaring Celebration
The Tsukiji Shishi Matsuri, a spirited event that unfolds over three days near the 10th of June. In the 1600s, Tokugawa Ieyasu orchestrated ambitious civil engineering projects to shape Edo (now Tokyo) according to the grand vision of the “Tenkafushin.” At that time, Tsukiji lay submerged beneath the sea, undergoing reclamation efforts. However, a formidable wave disrupted construction, making progress nearly impossible.

Tsukiji Shishi Festival

Legend has it that during this challenging period, a deity emerged with shining from the ocean. As the people prayed to this shining deity, the turbulent waves and winds subsided, allowing construction to proceed smoothly. This miraculous event occurred in 1659.

The Tsukiji Shishi Festival commemorates this legend with a captivating parade of floats. Imagine a dragon controlling the clouds, a tiger reigning over the winds, and colossal shishi lion heads compelling the entire world to obey with a single roar. The streets come alive as the people of Tsukiji Market join in the festivities, their shouts echoing through the air as a mikoshi—a portable shrine—parades through the bustling market.

Tsukiji Shishi Festival

So, traveler, carry the spirit of Japan with you. Whether you witness a mikoshi parade or marvel at fireworks reflected in the Sumida River, let these timeless traditions weave their magic. Your journey awaits—a symphony of gods, nature, and humanity.

We provide various travel coordination and guide services, so if you are interested, please see this page.


How to Experience Japan Comfortably: Insider Tips for Travelers

Japan, with its stunning landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and unique experiences, is a dream destination for travelers.
In the spring of 2023, the famous tourist spots were overflowing with people due to the large number of tourists visiting Japan and the increase in domestic travel demand after Corona.

Voted the number one country in the world by global travel magazines in 2023, Japan attracted a record 3 million tourists in March this year. This figure represents an increase of 11.6% compared to pre-pandemic 2019. And the number of domestic travelers increased by 97.2% compared to the previous year, indicating an increase in demand for domestic travel.

Chureito Arakurayama Park

While domestic and international tourism demand is recovering rapidly and regaining its liveliness, tourists are concentrating on some areas and times of the day, and there are concerns that excessive congestion and violations of etiquette will affect the lives of local residents, reduce travelers’ satisfaction, and deteriorate the landscape.
It is very happy that many people from overseas are attracted to Japan and visit this country, and the local people want to make this beautiful landscape sustainable and enjoy it for a long time with the tourist. For this reason, each region and the Japan Tourism Agency have begun to take measures to prevent and improve overtourism, but it will take some time to respond to rapid changes.

Sacred place of slam dunk

However, even in this situation, it is possible to enjoy beautiful nature, scenery, traditional culture, and unique experiences comfortably without crowds with a little ingenuity. We sincerely hope that travelers from overseas will be able to enjoy the wonderful scenery and culture of Japan as comfortably as possible. Therefore, here are some tips to help you enjoy Japan more comfortably.

There are two main ways to do this. The first is a “Timing is everything”, and the second is “Discover hidden gems”. Let’s take a look at each of them.

1.Timing is everything
If you are visiting Japan for the first time, of course, you will want to visit popular tourist spots introduced on SNS. Avoid peak tourist times by exploring attractions early in the morning or late in the evening. You’ll have a more serene experience without the crowds.

For example, Asakusa is famous for its large red Kaminarimon gate, the main hall of Tokyo’s oldest temple, and the shopping street on the approach. The shopping street on the approach is generally open from around 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., so you can’t enjoy shopping early in the morning or at night, but Sensoji Temple opens at 6 a.m. and is illuminated every day until around 11 p.m., so you can see a different face from the day in the quiet and calm atmosphere.
Even if you can’t get up that early, I recommend it’s somewhat better to go to Sensoji Temple by 9 o’clock.

Illuminated Sensouji Temple

Even after most of the Tsukiji Market was moved to Toyosu Market, it still remains in the place where it was opened in 1935 as a tourist spot where you can experience Tokyo food culture. There are made up from two market areas in Tsukiji: an inside market visited by food professionals and an outside market visited by tourists.
The inside market is open only to professionals from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m., but after 9 a.m., the market open for public to buy fresh foods. For food professionals who work early in the morning, there are cafeterias around the outside market that open before 9 a.m. If it’s before 9 a.m., it’s not so crowd, so how about eating an early breakfast in Tsukiji?

Tsukiji Inside Market

Toyosu food Market, the latest food market, is also easy to get to from central Tokyo. You can watch the “tuna auction” from 5:30 to 6:30 in the morning at Toyosu. As in Tsukiji, there are restaurants that are open from around 6 a.m. for those who work from early in the morning. I think it’s an interesting experience to enjoy breakfast after watching the tuna auction in the early morning.

Tuna Auction Toyosu

In addition, Shibuya is full of people looking for many cutting-edge fashions on weekends, so there are relatively few people in the morning or late at night on weekdays. You can also see the flow of people walking skillfully through the scramble intersection from the upper floors of some buildings.

Shibuya Scramble Crossing

Visiting popular tourist spots early in the morning not only means there are fewer people, but you’ll also get a different look than usual.

Select a calm season
Each with its peak and off-season in four seasons of Japan. The local stagger the time of year to avoid the crowds and visit scenic places.
The cherry blossom season, there are about 200 types of cherry blossoms in Japan, and the flowering timing varies depending on the region and variety. In the suburbs of Tokyo, the early-blooming Kawazu cherry blossoms are famous, and they begin to bloom around the beginning of March, and blooming Yamazakura at Kawaguchiko lake and Chichibu in May.
In addition, early March is before the school spring break, so it is a very good timing for spring travel when there are few tourists.

Kawazu Sakura

Understand Holidays in Japan
The rate of paid leave taken by Japan is very low in the world. As a result, the number of domestic travelers increases during national holidays. Especially, Family trips increase during the specific timing of August (Obon) and New Year holidays.

Holidays in 2024

  • December 30th ~ January 3rd: New Year holidays
  • March 25 ~ April 7: School Spring Break
  • April 30 ~ May 6: Golden Week
  • July 20 ~ August 31: School summer vacation
  • August 10 ~ August 13: Summer break (Obon)
  • September 14~16, 21~23: Silver Week

Why don’t you take a slightly “staggered trip” to avoid the crowds and enjoy the wonderful scenery?
From here, I will touch on how to enjoy each season trip.

Spring: Symphony of Flowers
After the cherry blossom season is over, after spring break and after the Golden week holidays, domestic travel demand is in the off-season, and good timing for travel Japan.

Shiofune Kannon Azelea
  • Azelea and Nemophila: At this time, parks and temples gardens burst forth with color as azaleas and nemophila (baby blue eyes) bloom. Imagine strolling through a sea of delicate petals, each one whispering secrets of renewal.
  • Spring festivals: The air is charged with excitement during spring festivals. From traditional rituals to modern celebrations, there’s something for everyone. Try a local matsuri (festival) where vibrant floats parade through narrow streets, accompanied by lively music and laughter.
  • Hydrangeas: Before the rainy season arrives, hydrangeas steal the spotlight. Their vivid blues, pinks, and purples transform gardens and hillsides. Wander along forest paths, and let these captivating blooms transport you to a dreamy realm.
Hydrangeas in temple
  • Countryside: The beautiful countryside filled with water is a beautiful sight unique to this time of year. The rolling hills, and rice paddies, the countryside comes alive, reflecting scenery in mirror-like ponds
Hoshi Toge Tanada

Summer: Embrace the heatwave
In 2023, there were 64 midsummer days that exceeded 86℉, and 22 days of extremely hot days that exceeded 95℉.
The Japan Meteorological Agency has predicted that it will be a hot summer this year as well. It is very difficult to go out during the day time in the hot season, but there are some ways to enjoy Japan to the fullest, such as

Hachiouji Summer Festival
  • Chase the cool breezes:
    • leaving the city center and visiting the mountain side where the temperature drops a little.
  • Indoor Culture Delight:
    • Experiencing Japan culture indoors to find cultural treasures.
  • Summer festivals and fireworks under the stars.
    • As twilight paints the sky, Japan comes alive. Night festivals and Hanabi (fireworks) where magic happens. Imagine lantern-lit streets, and the scent of yakitori wafting through the air. Join locals in celebrating summer—dance, laugh, and savor the moment.
  • Mt. Fuji’s call:
    • The climbing only permit period is from July to September. However, mountaineering regulations will be stricter from 2024 to prevent dangerous climbing, so please be prepared when you go.

Autumn: Symphony of colors
Autumn in Japan—a symphony of colors, whispers of cool breezes, and secrets tucked away in every leaf.

  • Autumn leaves:
    • October unveils Hokkaido and Tohoku’s fiery foliage and move to Kanto in November. Picture crimson maples and golden ginkgo trees against a backdrop of misty mountains. It’s like stepping into a painting. Wrap yourself in a cozy scarf and wander—each leaf tells a story.
  • Stroll local town:
    • Early October is a little early for the bright red autumn leaves, but it is a very good time to strolling around the city with good weather, and the domestic travel demand is calm, so a trip to Japan at this time is highly recommended.
  • Stay Awhile:
    • November, many tourist spots become popular for domestic travel to watching autumn leaves, so it is recommended to don’t rush and soak in Hot springs. Sip Sake under moonlit maples. The leaves fall around you, like confetti celebrating life’s fleeting beauty.

Winter: Snow Wonderland

Step into a world where snowflakes pirouette and hot springs whisper secrets. Japan’s winter is more than just cold—it’s a canvas of wonder waiting to be explored.

Kamakura Festival
  • Winter: Snowfall Symphony
    • The first snow of 2023 was in late October in Hokkaido. Snow cover seems to be lagging behind every year due to global warming. In the heavy snowfall area from January to February, you can enjoy the beautiful cozy “Kamakura” (snow huts) and snowy scenery.
  • Onsen Magic
    • In the area with a beautiful winter scenery, it is recommended to take a lodging and enjoy the scenery and hot springs slowly. Imagine soaking in an open-air hot spring, snowflakes melting on your skin. Snow-capped peaks surround you. Steam rises, and you forget the chill. It’s bliss.
  • Tokyo’s Suprise
    • The air is clear during the winter, you will be surprised to see Mt. Fuji with snow on the top of the mountain even from Tokyo. It is also fun to strolling in the Tokyo city lights are illuminated from middle of November at nighttime.

2.Discover hidden gems
Here are seven ideas for exploring the local area’s hidden treasures and avoiding the crowds and traveling like a local. So, Let dive into the world of hidden gems.

  • Asakusa’s Time Capsule:
    • Around Sensoji Temple lies a maze of narrow streets-a glimpse into old-world Tokyo. There are retained the atmosphere of an old-fashioned downtown. Forget the crowds, here, you’ll find authenticity.
Japanese Confection shop
  • Hidden Mt. Fuji and blooming flowers
    • The famous cherry blossom and Mt. Fuji spots are not only the place introduced on SNS. Cherry blossoms are a representative flower of Japan and bloom everywhere to blend in with people’s lives. Explore the lesser-known corners—tiny shrines, lakeside cafes, and secret trails. The locals know where Fuji’s magic truly hides.
Fujiyoshida city
  • Misaki Fisherman’s bounty
    • Beyond the bustling Tsukiji Market lies Misaki and Oarai. An hour by train from Tokyo, these fishing ports blend tradition with daily life. Tasty fresh harvest of seafoods with affordable price, watch boats bob, breathe in the sea breeze and see the nature beauty. It’s seafood heaven without the crowds.
Misaki Port
  • Izu’s Hot spring Hideaways
    • Hakone and Kusatsu, which are famous as hot spring resorts, are also attractive, but there are many great hot springs like a Shuzenji in the nestled mountains of Izu offers serenity. Soak in wooden tubs, listen to cicadas, and let the hot spring waters heal your soul.
Shuzenji Temple
  • Mt. Fuji’s Volcanic flow town
    • Bullet trains whisk you to Mishima—a city shaped by Fuji’s fury. Underground springs feed its rivers, and cherry blossoms bloom along volcanic paths. It’s a canvas of contrasts—fire and water, ancient and modern.
  • Niigata Countryside Canvas
    • Niigata Echigo Yuzawa isn’t just for skiers. In spring, summer, and fall, it hosts the “Daichi no Art Festival.” Imagine sculptures against rice fields, sunflowers nodding, and laughter echoing. There is art woven into nature in the 1 hours from central Tokyo by bullet train.
Daichi no Art Festival
  • Okutama’s Valley Whispers:
    • Two hours from Tokyo lies Okutama—a realm of emerald valleys and ancient forests. Hike moss-covered trails, dip your toes in crystal-clear streams, and breathe in pine-scented air. Nature’s symphony awaits. Okutama also has Sake breweries.
Tama Area

It has many wonderful towns and landscapes that are still unknown in Japan. Why don’t you embark on a hidden treasure hunt?
This site provides images of some tours. Please contact us if there is a place you would like to visit even if it is not listed here. We look forward to joining you on a journey to find hidden treasures.


Discover the Enchanting Tokyo Imperial Palace!

The Imperial Palace is one of the most popular tourist spots as a captivating blend of history, nature, and regal splendor in Tokyo, visited by many tourists from Japan and abroad. The Imperial Palace is still the residence of His Majesty the Emperor, but until the 1868, it was the residence of the shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate. As you step into this majestic realm, let your imagination soar as we unravel its secrets. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or simply curious, the Imperial Palace promises an unforgettable experience.

Spread across 115 acres, the Imperial Palace is a sprawling oasis. Lush gardens, serene moats, and massive stone walls encircle this regal haven. As you explore, let the whispers of centuries past guide your steps. Now, I would like to introduce how to visit this large Imperial Palace.

How do we get there?
Around the Imperial Palace is dotted with Tokyo Station and several subway stations. If you visit from Sakuradamon Station, Kasumigaseki Station, Hibiya Station, or Nijubashi Station, you can quickly reach the Nijubashi where a photographer’s delight.
If you are participating in an Imperial Palace guide tour that requires a numbered ticket, Kikyo Gate is the start, so Otemachi Station will be nearby.


How do I get into the Imperial Palace?
There are places in the Imperial Palace where you can visit for free at any time, and there are places where you need a numbered ticket. Please check the map from here.

Map of imperial palace

You can visit the Sakurada Gate and the Nijubashi Bridge at any time freely without a numbered ticket.

Sakuradamon Gate

The East Garden is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., except on Mondays, Fridays, and designated holidays. (Closing time is subject to change depending on the season)
There is a photo spot on the Sakuradamon side to take pictures of the Nijubashi bridge, the main gate, and the contrast with the city buildings.

Ninomaru Garden in east garden

If you like a history and want to freely explore the ruins of the old Edo Castle, the last residence of the Tokugawa shogunate and the Japan garden, you can see it without a numbered ticket.

Fujimi Yagura

What is a numbered ticket tour?
In this area, a tour guide from the Imperial Household Agency will spend one hour touring from the Imperial Household Agency, the East Gort of the Palace, the main gate of the Imperial Gate, and Yamashita Street, which is famous for cherry blossoms, in groups of each language. It is a popular tour because it is a place that you cannot usually enter, so there are many people who want to go there at least once. map

How to get a numbered ticket
This tour, which takes place twice a day (9:00am and 1:00pm), can accommodate 200 people with advance booking each time. Advance reservations will be made at 5 a.m. on the first day of each month, one month before the visit date. Please check the detail from here.
If you were unable to make a reservation, only 300 people can get a numbered ticket on the day, so why not give it a try? However, it is very popular, so you need to go about 1 hour before the numbered ticket distribution.
In addition, a limited area is open to the public for a limited time during the cherry blossom season in spring and autumn leaves, so there are times when you can enter without a numbered ticket, so please check the Imperial Palace open schedule.

Let’s enter!
You can enter the Imperial Palace from 30 minutes before the start time of the tour. You will be required to show your ID, so please be sure to bring your passport.

Kikyomon Gate

Once inside, from Kikyomon gate, you will be inspected and escorted to the waiting room. In the waiting room, there is a shop where you can buy souvenirs that can only be bought here, vending machines and toilets.
You will not be allowed to buy drinks or go to the restroom during the tour. Due to security reasons, you will not be able to leave in the middle, so please be sure to prepare in advance. Also, the shop is closed after started the tour, so if you wanted to buy souvenirs, please buy them before the tour.

Waiting room

Until the tour start time, the guide will give you an explanation about the overall experience and history of the Imperial Palace, and then the tour will start with groups in different languages.

At first, look at the Fujimi Tower on your right and proceed to the east garden of the palace. The Fujimi Tower was rebuilt two years after it was destroyed by fire in 1657 and is a valuable building that still exists in the main building of Edo Castle.

Fujimi Yagura Tower

Next is the Imperial Household Agency. The Imperial Household Agency was built in 1935 and was used as a temporary palace until the palace was built.

Imperial Palace Agency building

The East Cort of the Palace is a place where members of the Imperial Family come out to greet each other on New Year’s Day and the Emperor’s Birthday. In front of this terrace can accommodate 2,000 people.

East Court

Next is the main gate iron bridge. Standing on the bridge where you can see the outside without a numbered ticket, you can see the skyscrapers. This will be the turning point of this tour.

From Main gate iron bridge

On the way back, go through Yamashita Street, where greenery and various flowers bloom, and return to Kikyo Gate.

Yamashita Street

Finally, return the badge and you’re done.


The Imperial Palace is a very large area, and there are areas where you can see freely and areas that require numbered tickets.
If you wanted to participate in the Imperial Household Agency guided tour, you need to get a numbered ticket. In that case, it will take about one and a half hours. If you wanted to see the Nijubashi bridge or see the ruins of Edo Castle only, you can go around freely without a numbered ticket.
You can choose a method of getting around the Imperial Palace that suits your tastes.
There is also a shop in the East Garden, so you can buy original goods. (Please note that not all of them are the same.)

If you would like to see not only the large gardens of the Imperial Palace but also the inside of the palace, we recommend visiting the Akasaka Palace State Guest House. This was once used as the residence of His Majesty the Emperor and is currently used as a place to entertain state guests from overseas. The inside of the palace is a neo-baroque building with great decoration. The fountain in the garden is also spectacular.

Akasaka Palace state of guest house

Please come and visit places where you can experience Japanese history and culture.

Japan Culture Experience Local

Embrace the Magic of Retreat on Izu Oshima

Hello, everyone. Today, I’d like to share a retreat journey to Izu Oshima, one of Tokyo’s enchanting islands.
On this island, you can connect with untouched nature—the land, sea, and forest—while meditating, allowing your mind to clear and experience a sense of empowerment.
Izu Oshima, which can be reached in about 2 hours by boat from Tokyo, was a wonderful place where you can enjoy not only summer marine sports and hiking, but also mindfulness, ancient local life, and contact with the people. It is a recommended place for those who want to get away from the city and experience local island life, so I would like to introduce it.

Hajikama Shrine

What is Izu Oshima

It is the largest island of the Izu Islands, located 120 km south of Tokyo. At its center stands Mount Mihara, an active volcano with an elevation of 758 meters above sea level. The island is part of the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, with about 97% of its land protected under the Natural Parks Act, preserving its natural landscapes and ecosystems.

Inhabited for around 8,000 years, the island currently has a population of about 7,000. Historically, it served as a penal colony, and intriguing legends surround its past. In literature, Nobel Prize-winning author Yasunari Kawabata depicted Izu Oshima as the setting for his masterpiece, “The Izu Dancer”. Additionally, the island is renowned for its abundant marine products, the Camellia and Ashitaba which is famous for the healthy food.

annual rings of the earth

How to Visit

You can reach the island by both plane and boat. A 25-minute flight from Chofu Airport or a 2-hour boat ride from Takeshiba port in Tokyo will get you there. Alternatively, it’s just 45 minutes from Atami in Shizuoka. Once on the island, you can explore its 46-kilometer circumference by bus, taxi, rental car, or bicycle.

From Takeshiba port

Recommendation spots

While there are many attractive spots on Izu Oshima, here are some highlights:

Ura Sabaku(Back Desert)
On the east side of Mt. Mihara, which rises in the center of the island, there is a “back desert” covered with black volcanic rock.
Picture this: Magma, unleashed by countless eruptions, scorched the land, leaving behind a desolate expanse. The earth itself bears the scars of ancient fire, and the once-green vegetation now lies charred. As you step upon the volcanic rocks, their crunch echoes—a symphony of footsteps, wind, and distant birdcalls.

Ura Sabaku

Amidst this stark beauty, take a moment to breathe. Listen to the rhythm of the elements—the wind whispering secrets, the rocks beneath your feet, and the vast sky above. Here, in this “nothing” place, let your mind quieten, and your senses awaken. Feel the pulse of nature—the same force that shaped this black desert—and find solace in its ancient embrace.
Whether you’re seeking adventure or inner reflection, the Back Desert awaits, inviting you to lose yourself in its enigmatic allure.

Sa no hama(Black sandy beach)
Consisting of 1 km of basalt black sand, this black sand beach was formed by lava crushed by wind and rain over a long period of time, and volcanic ash flowing down mountain streams. The sand is moved by the waves and wind, but at the same time, the sand flows from the valley, so the coast is not eroded and this beautiful landscape is maintained. This place is also a spawning ground for sea turtles.

Su no Hama

When you sit on the black sand beach and look at it, you will be amazed at the warmth of the sand even though it is winter. If you meditate on this sandy beach for a while, you will only hear the sound of the waves and the sound of the wind. It is also wonderful to spend time facing yourself while watching the slowly flowing clouds and crashing waves.

Hajikama Shrine

The enchanting eastern side of Izu Oshima, where myths and legends come alive. Here, in the Senzu area, the ancient tale of Hiimi-sama still weaves its Mystical. On every January 24th, locals honor this legend through time-honored customs. Deep within a serene forest lies the Hajikama Shrine, intricately tied to Hiimi-sama’s story. This sacred spot is renowned as one of the island’s strongest power spots—a place where energy flows freely.

Hajikama Shrine

As you step into the forest, a hush settles around you. Towering cedar trees reach for the sky, their ancient roots anchoring them to the earth. Here, amid the quietude, you can reflect on the eons that shaped this land. The whispers of history blend with the rustling leaves, inviting you to connect with your inner self.

Close your eyes and breathe and embrace the silence. Feel the pulse of the island—the same energy that resonates through the Hajikama Shrine. Let the stillness envelop you, and perhaps, just perhaps, you’ll glimpse the secrets whispered by the ancient cedars.

Whether you seek solace, inspiration, or simply a moment of wonder, the Hajikama Shrine awaits, ready to share its timeless wisdom.

Camellia & Flower Garden

Izu Oshima is renowned as the “Island of Camellias.” These elegant trees, planted across the island as windbreaks, grace the landscape with their beauty. Camellias, revered flowers in Europe, find in the “Camelia and flower garden”, where approximately 2,000 camellia trees thrive. This camellia orchard holds international acclaim as an excellent garden, drawing camellia enthusiasts from around the world.

From October to May, you can admire the camellias in beauty bloom. And on clear days, don’t miss the breathtaking view of majestic Mount Fuji in the distance.

Step into this floral haven, breathe in the fragrant air, and let the vibrant colors soothe your soul. Izu Oshima’s Camellia & Flower Garden invites you to experience the magic of nature’s artistry.

Habu Port Town
Step into the nostalgic Habu Port Town, a quaint fishing town nestled in the southern part of the island. Here, time slows down, inviting you to savor every moment.

It’s a Crater Lake’s Transformed to the port. Picture this place in its infancy—a crater lake cradled by ancient volcanic hills. But as the years unfolded, the harbor emerged, its waters teeming with life. In 1800, the first ships docked, and Habu Port was born—a gateway to adventure and memories.

Habu Port Town

You can also feel the literary echoes. As you amble along the cobblestone streets, you’ll encounter echoes of literature. The inn was the setting for Yasunari Kawabata’s novel “The Izu Dancer” still stands—a testament to love, longing, and fleeting encounters. Imagine the characters who once sought refuge within its walls—their stories etched into the very inn.

Minatoya Memorial Property

But Habu Port City isn’t just a relic of the past. It breathes anew with renovated inns and cozy cafes, their wooden beams weathered by time. Step inside, and you’ll find warmth, freshly brewed coffee, and tales whispered by the sea breeze. Take a leisurely stroll through this harbor of memories.

Anko-san is a hard-working woman who lives in Izu Oshima. Anko-san played a vital role in supporting the island’s challenging life. While men were away working at sea or in the mountains, these women diligently visited the communal well known as “Hamanka”. There, they fetched water and carried firewood, ensuring the well-being of their homes and communities.


Anko-san’s attire includes a kasuri (traditional patterned kimono) and a tied mae-tare (a type of apron). They also wear a cloth headband. Their graceful posture and determined expressions left a lasting impression on visitors, including poets and artists who immortalized their beauty.
These traditional Anko-san dancers perform hand movements in sync with local folk songs, creating a unique and rustic beauty that captivates onlookers.

Anko dance


The retreat trip to Izu Oshima refreshed my mind and body, and I felt like I was infused with new energy.

Izu Oshima, where nature weaves its magic, and power spots await your discovery. This island, cradled by the sea, invites you to embark on a journey of wonder and self-reflection.

From ancient shrines to mystical forests, each spot resonates with energy. Perhaps you’ll find solace at the Hajikama Shrine, where whispers of centuries past linger. Or lose yourself in the Back Desert, where black volcanic rock tells tales of primordial fire.

Gaze upon vistas that defy description. The azure sea stretches beyond sight, and if luck favors you, Mount Fuji graces the skyline—a majestic scenery.

Indulge in the island’s warm embrace. Soak in mineral-rich hot springs, their healing waters soothing both body and spirit. And when hunger calls, savor local delicacies—seafood fresh from the ocean, camellia-infused treats, and flavors that dance on your tongue.

Engage with the islanders—their stories, laughter, and resilience. Share a cup of tea, listen to their tales, and feel the heartbeat of this place.

And as night falls, let the silence envelop you. Close your eyes, face the mirror of your thoughts, and find answers—or perhaps more questions. In this tranquil nature, you’ll rediscover yourself.

So, I recommend staying for minimum two days, let the island’s magic seep into your heart, and emerge anew—a seeker, a dreamer, and a soul ready to face the world.


Explore New Year’s activity in Japan!

A Happy New Year 2024!
As we welcome the new year, we want to express our gratitude for your continued trust and support.
May the new year be filled with exciting adventures, unforgettable experience, joy, and prosperity.
We look forward to helping you discover more of Japan’s hidden gems and creating unforgettable memories together in 2024.

In our first blog of the new year, we will introduce some New Year’s activities that take place in Japan. In Japan, there are many events to welcome the new year. Although what people do differ from person to person, I would like to introduce the main events that have been held from ancient times to the present day. If you are in Japan during the New Year period, why not try out these activities?

Typical New Year events

3.Seven Lucky gods Tour

1.Toshikoshi Mairi、Hatsumode(年越し参り、初詣)

In Japan, from the end of the year to the beginning of the new year, New Year’s Eve visits, “Hatsumode,” are held at temples and shrines. This New Year’s Eve festival has the meaning of giving thanks for the old year and praying for safety and peace in the new year, and the New Year’s bell is rung 108 times to exorcise the 108 earthly desires of humans.

Joyanokane “除夜の鐘” is a Buddhist event in Japan where the temple bell is rung 108 times on New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day. This event is part of the “Joya no Kane” ceremony, which is the last ceremony of the year that expresses gratitude for the past year. To ring the bell, approach the bell and bow with your hands together before striking the bell with the wooden mallet attached to the bell by a rope. Finally, bow again and express your wishes or gratitude to Buddha in your heart.

Hatsumode is generally held between January 1st to 7th or January 15th, known as Matsunouchi, but many people visit temples and shrines between January 1st and 3rd. Matsunouchi refers to the period during which pine trees are displayed as a symbol of the New Year’s God welcoming. *Matsunouchi period differs depending on the region.

2.Kakizome (書初め)

Kakizome calligraphy ”書初め” is one of the traditional annual events that has been held in Japan since ancient times, and it is filled with the meaning of achieving goals and celebrating the new year, as people set their resolutions and plans for the year, as well as congratulatory words.
The Japanese proverb “一年の計は元旦にあり” means that you should make a plan or set a goal for the year on January 1st, preferably in the early morning. And the plan and target write down on a paper.

It is generally “Kakizome” is hold on January 2nd. The reason for this is that January 2nd of the new year is said to be the “beginning of things,” and it is said that if you start your first job, such as writing, learning, or doing business, from the 2nd, you will improve faster and last longer.

3.Seven lucky gods tour 七福神巡り

The Seven lucky gods tour (Shichifukujin Meguri) is the custom of visiting temples and shrines that enshrine the seven Lucky Gods during the New Year. The Seven Lucky Gods are seven gods that have been worshiped since ancient times as the gods of fortune and wealth. You can pray for happiness and health by visiting the Seven Lucky Gods. The activity is held all over the country, and although there is no set time, it is said that Matsunouchi (January 1st to 7th)is the best time to visit.
There are several places in Tokyo where you can tour the Seven Lucky Gods, but Asakusa is the most famous among them. We will visit nine temples and shrines in Asakusa.

Here is the route of nine temples and shrines for Seven luck gods tour in Asakusa

Sensouji (浅草寺) Daikokuten (大黒天)
It is Tokyo’s oldest temple with a history of 1,400 years and is where Daikokuten, the god of treasure, is enshrined. It is also famous for its approach to the shrine, which is bustling with festivals throughout the year.

Asakusa shrine(浅草神社) Ebisu (恵比寿神)
Asakusa Shrine, where the three people who found the Kannon statue at Sensoji Temple are enshrined, is also famous for the Sanja Festival.
This shrine is dedicated to Ebisu, the god of good fortune that brings blessings from the sea and a large catch, and is a shrine where people pray for good luck.

Machituyashoden(待乳山聖天)Bishamonten (毘沙門天)
The symbol is the radish, which is said to purify the heart when offered. This is a shrine where people pray for business prosperity and good health.

④Imado shrine(今戸神社) Fukurokujyu (福禄寿)
It is popular as a god of matchmaking, and as the birthplace of beckoning cats, there are many cat ornaments on the grounds.

Because this temple escaped damage during earthquakes and wars, it is said to be a temple that brings good luck and warding off evil spirits. The Hotei-sama here is a rare figure with a bag on his stomach instead of holding a bag.

⑥Ishihama shrine(石浜神社)Jurojin(寿老神)
The oldest shrine in Arakawa Ward, founded in 724. Minamoto no Yoritomo, the shogun of the Kamakura period, also prayed to the god of longevity during his conquest of Oshu.

⑦Yoshiwara shrine(吉原神社)Benzaiten (弁財天)
This shrine is located where there used to be a downtown area called the red-light district. The god of good luck, business prosperity, and skill improvement.

⑧Ootori shrine(鷲神社)Jurojin(寿老人)
It is the god of prosperous business, good fortune, and success, and is famous for the Tori no Ichi (Tori no Ichi) festival held in November and the “Nadeokame” decorated at the shrine.

⑨Yasakiinari shrine(矢先稲荷神社)Fukurokuju(福禄寿)
The god of business establishment, academic achievement, fulfillment of moral character, and long life in military affairs. He is wearing a crane symbolizing longevity, has white hair and a white beard, and has a harmonious and harmonious face, representing the highest ideal of a person.
A must-see is the ceiling painting of the shrine called “Japanese Horse Riding History”!

The Seven lucky gods tour will take you deeper into Asakusa, so you may be able to find local shopping streets and hidden treasures just for you. It will take about 3 to 4 hours to walk all the way, but it will be a very enjoyable walk. Why not try it as a memory of Japan?


Exciting Summer Festivals!

It’s almost done the hottest summer ever. The weather in nighttime is much better than July or August. I’m looking forward for coming the cool and beautiful Autum season from end of September.
This time I’d like to share with you some summer festivals which I visited. It was so excited in these festivals. It’s my pleasure if it will be supporting your better planning next summer.

Gion Festival (Kyoto)

Event date and Place: All July, highlight day is 14th-to 17th July 2023, Karasuma street Kyoto

What is the festival:

Gion Matsuri festival is the famous festival for one of big three festival in Japan.
Gion Matsuri is one of the most important festivals of Yasaka Jinja Shrine in Kyoto with a tradition of more than 1150 years and takes place over the entire month of July. The month-long Gion Matsuri is a festival to prevent epidemics. During this period, various rituals and events are held, and the downtown of Kyoto is in a festive mood. Its highlight is the magnificent Mikoshi-Togyo and Yamahoko-Junko on July 17 and 24. The festival can be observed as soon as getting off the train at Karasuma station.

Gion Matsuri originated in 869 (Jogan 11th) when a terrible pestilence spread across the entire land of Kyoto, and people were suffering from it. In the past, people used to think that the cause of it is vengeful spirits and evil deities. The people of Kyoto attempted to appease them and pray for an end to the pestilence by erecting 66 spears (called Hoko) representing the provinces of Japan in Shinsen-en, a sacred imperial garden in Heian Capital, and carrying around the Mikoshi (a portable shrine) for the deity of Yasaka Jinja Shrine to Shinsen-en. In this way, Gion matsuri began as a festival to eradicate pestilences and prevent epidemics. The people of Kyoto have protected and supported this festival to this day in the face of many interruptions caused by civil wars and political reasons.

The highlight events of Gion Matsuri take place in the Karasuma Street. During the three days preceding the procession, the respective Yama and Hoko are displayed within about a half kilometer of the intersection of Karasuma and Shijo streets. While they are on display, some of the floats can be entered by tourists.
The Matsuri festival becomes most exciting in the evenings, when from 18:00 until 23:00 the streets are closed to traffic and the area swells with food stands, drink vendors and other festival hallmarks. These festive evenings leading up to the procession are known as Yoiyama (July 16), Yoiyoiyama (July 15) and Yoiyoiyoiyama (July 14). Similar festivities also take place on the three evenings leading up to the procession on July 24, albeit on a smaller scale and with fewer road closures and stands. In 2023, road closures will happen only on July 15 and 16.

The processions of floats (Yamaboko Junko) take place between 9:00 and 13:00 on the 17th and from 9:30 to 11:50 on the 24th and follow a three-kilometer-long route along Shijo, Kawaramachi and Oike streets. Some paid seating is provided in front of the city hall (4100-5100 yen; advance booking required), but because the procession takes place over quite a long route and duration, good viewpoints can also be found elsewhere without too much trouble.

Tsukuda Festival (Tokyo Central)

Event day and place: beginning of August, Tsukuda Tokyo

What is the festival:
A summer of fisherman’s festival ”Tsukuda Matsuri” in Tsukuda and Tsukishima. Main place is Sumiyoshitaisha shrine in Tsukuda. Tsukuda and Tsukishima in central Tokyo, are areas that were all sea about 400 years ago. Fishermen from Osaka Prefecture landfilled and created this piece of land. The prayers of those fishermen still live on. The main festival of the Sumiyoshi Shrine is held once every 3 years. The excitement of the boisterous fishermen comes to a peak during the festival. .
The festival can be observed as soon as getting off the train at Tsukishima station.

It was fishermen who came from Osaka that began to landfill the mudflats of the Sumida River inlet and settle there. This was about the time when the Edo shogunate was established in Tokyo. The Sumiyoshi Shrine built in Tsukuda in 1590, Tokyo is the Shinto deity re-enshrined from a shrine of the hometown of the fishermen in Osaka. Wishing for plenty of catch and safety at sea, the fishermen started a festival in 1646. The mikoshi, or the portable shrine, is raised high, to worship the Sumiyoshi Shrine.

The Oonobori flag, a symbol of the festival 18 meter high from 1798, has erected for on 4th August 2023. For the next 4 days, the town will be full of festive activities. The main spectacle of the 2nd day is a competition in which participants try to grab the rope at the tip of the snout of lion figures. Grabbing the snout of the female lion brings the highest esteem. The main mikoshi will parade all over Tsukuda and Tsukishima the following 2 days.
Many portable shrines parade through the streets of Tsukuda and Tsukishima. It is also called the Water Festival because sprinkled water on the mikoshi for purifying.

Hachioji Matsuri (Tokyo South)

Event day and Place: beginning of August, Hachioji Tokyo

What is the festival:
Hachioji Matsuri is the one of the best float festivals in the Kanto region.
Along with the spectacular floats to appreciate, there will be taiko drumming performances, a cultural exchange with performers from Kaohsiung in Taiwan (one of Hachioji’s sister cities), a Hachioji lion dance display (an Intangible Folk Cultural Property), and more.
The festival can be observed as soon as getting off the train at Hachioji station.

The float festival in the central city has been passed down since the Edo period, and the festival at Yahata and Yakumo Shrine is known as the Shimono Matsuri, and the festival at Taga Shrine is known as the Upper Matsuri Kamino Matsuri.” In the mid-Meiji period, it was a festival of doll floats, and from the late Meiji period to the early Showa period, it was famous throughout the Kanto region as a festival of carved floats with 20 carvings carved all over the bottom and top.

In 1945, eight of the floats were destroyed in a fire during the war, but they were rebuilt and the doll floats were restored. Currently, 19 floats from the 19 town associations participate in the Hachioji Festival, and every year they stage a spectacular float festival picture scroll along the Koshu Highway.

Nineteen floats with elaborate carvings will appear. During the night parade, the floats are lit up by tomoshibi, creating a fantastical spectacle that is different from the daytime.

In addition, traditional culture that Hachioji is proud of, such as the lion dance, which is an intangible folk cultural asset designated by Hachioji City, which is transmitted to shrines in the city, the Kanto Taiko Drum Battle that echoes in the summer sky, and the folk dance that dancers in yukata gather on the Koshu Kaido. We believe that you will be able to fully enjoy the many.

Fukagawa Festival (Tokyo)

Event day and place: Beginning of August, East Tokyo

What is the festival:
The Fukagawa Hachiman Festival is one of three major festivals of Edo (the other two being the Kanda Matsuri and the Sanno Matsuri). It is particularly famous for the scenes of water being thrown at the mikoshi carriers by visitors, leading to the festival being known more informally as the Mizukake Matsuri or “Water Splashing Festival”. Every three years, the festival becomes the “hon-matsuri” when there is an added procession of the Hachiman imperial carriage along the streets of Koto Ward accompanied by 120 smaller mikoshi.
The festival takes place over five days, but Sunday is the day of the main parade (神輿連合渡御)—an 8km route which loops the shrine to the north from 7:30am to 3:30pm. The water-splashing starts once the procession has crossed Eitai Bridge about 1km northwest of Tomioka Hachiman Shrine
The festival can be observed as soon as getting off the train at Monzen nakamachi station.

The festival was instituted by the Tokugawa shogunate in 1642 when the third shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, celebrated his first son, Ietsuna, becoming his successor. This event laid the foundation for the festival, symbolizing the close ties it has with the Tokugawa shogunate and the Imperial household.
So popular has this event become that it was known to have caused a bridge to collapse due to the crowd’s size in 1807. This event also gives the festival its other name, the “Water-throwing Festival,” as bystanders splash water on the Mikoshi carriers to cool them in the summer heat.

Every three years, a significant event known as Hon-Matsuri takes place, which is a spectacular parade of the Mikoshi (portable shrines) where the deities are carried from the shrine.
The festival involves dozens of Mikoshi from different neighborhoods, parading an approximately 8-kilometer route that starts and ends at the Tomioka Hachiman Shrine, traveling through various districts of Koto Ward. This grand procession paints a vibrant picture of communal spirit and historical continuity, attracting spectators from around the world. The carriers chant “Wasshoi!” in unison, a lively cry that ripples through the neighborhoods.
The festival stands as a beacon of cultural heritage, a lively testament to Tokyo’s rich past.

Koenji Awaodori (Tokyo)

Event day and Place: End of August, West Tokyo

What is the festival:
The Koenji Awa-odori Dance has become one of Tokyo’s most renowned summer events, with more than 10,000 dancers and a million spectators. Embedded within its 66-year history is the desire to bring joy to people through the smiling faces of the performers. This is the first time in four years performances will be held outside, with passionate dancing taking place at eight venues.

During the day, two locations will present thrilling stage shows. Enjoy the return of Awa-odori dancing to the streets of Koenji over two days.
The festival focuses on the traditional dance, whose origins can be traced to O-bon, a Buddhist ritual held to celebrate the return of the deceased in the world of the living for a few days.
The festival can be observed as soon as getting off the train at Koenji station, from 5 p.m. The groups successively parade until 8 p.m., and spectators can watch from the sides of the large Konen Dori avenue, that stretches toward south until Shin-Koenji subway station.

This festival started with the purpose of revitalizing the town of Koenji in 1957. Because no one in Koenji had actual Awa odori experience, the initial years of the festival didn’t look much like the Tokushima original, but it slowly came to resemble the real thing as the years went on. The celebration also expanded in scope, with several other Koenji shopping streets joining in on the action.

Awa was the name of a province on the eastern edge of Shikoku (present-day Tokushima Prefecture), and “odori” is the Japanese word for “dance.” The Awa odori ren (dance troupes) typically dance in a two-step rhythm called zomeki. Women wear large, pointed straw hats and dance on their tiptoes in wooden clogs with their arms waving in the air, while men take a crouched position, sometimes wielding uchiwa (fans) or chōchin (lanterns). They’re followed by the hayashi, or instrument section, which features thundering taiko, gongs, shamisen and flutes.

Over 10,000 dancers and musicians, men, women and sometimes children, gather in Ren groups to parade performing an original choreography with the same basic steps and following the rhythm of lively music over the two days on the streets. The friendly atmosphere and memorable show are the staples of entertaining evening.

Summer festivals is almost finish, but other season festivals will continue in various places.
Although daytime sightseeing can be quite difficult in the hot summer, there are many fun events such as fireworks and night festivals.

What kind of festival will you enjoy next summer?


Heated Summer Activity in Tokyo

It’s been very hot summer day in Tokyo every day. According to the weather forecast, there is a danger of heat stroke, so Japan government advise you to refrain from going out during the day. But don’t you want to do something memorable since it’s summer season?

So, this time I would like to tell you some ways to enjoy summer. How about making fun summer memories? Here is the list of summer activity options.

  1. Workshop and factory tour
  2. Visit immersive museum and aquarium
  3. Go to see Sunflower
  4. Watch the fireworks and festival
  5. Spend time in cool mountain and riverside

1.Workshop and factory tour
Many workshops are held in various places in Tokyo such as Nihonbashi, Asakusa, and Yanaka.
Among them, there are various things such as making Japanese sweets, tea ceremony, making Japanese paper, making candy, making soba noodles, making food replicas, and dyeing Japanese Tenugui. There are many things that can be experienced by families, so you can enjoy it with your family while avoiding the heat.

Amezaiku and Washi Japanese paper craft

Suntory Fuchu factory tour is one of interesting tour. You can watch the factory and drink free beer and soft drinks after the tour.

Suntory Fuchu factory

If you need a more information of workshop, please check the tour image.

2.Visit immersive museum and aquarium

Tokyo has some immersive museums and a goldfish aquarium that is open only in summer.
For example, there are the Immersive Mueum Tokyo in Nihonbashi, Team Labo Planets in Toyosu and the goldfish aquarium in Ginza.

Immersive museum and Goldfish aquarium
Team Labo Digital art

In addition, you can see fish swimming in the cool water at Sunshine Aquarium in Ikebukuro and Aquarium in Shinagawa. How about finding your favorite museum?

3.Go to see Sunflower
Sunflowers are summer flowers. Sunflowers are full blooming at Showa Kinen Park in Tachikawa.
There are many other places to see sunflowers.
However, you will be able to see the sunflowers during the day, so please be careful of the heat.

Showa Kinen Park

4.Watch the fireworks and festival

In summer, fireworks and festivals are held all over the country to pray for peace and good health.
There are major events such as the Sumida River Fireworks, as well as events held in rural areas, so we recommend visiting for a Japanese cultural experience.
Festivals include portable shrines and floats during the day, as well as dances that can be seen at night.
How about finding your favorite festival?

Matsuri information is here.

Toro Nagashi

5.Relaxing in cool mountain and river side

You can stay cooler than in the city center, such as in the mountains with many trees or along the river. Akikawa Valley in Okutama, Route 6 on Mt. Takao and Villa area in Karuizawa are good place to relaxing and strolling.
It is recommended because you can leave the city for a while and refresh your feelings.

Mt.Takao route 6
Akikawa Valley

Summer is just beginning. Please enjoy and making only your summer memories.


Tokyo Marathon 2023

Exciting Marathon event in Tokyo!

On March 5, 2023, a warm day with spring approaching, I participated in the Tokyo Marathon.
It was fun and exciting 26.2-mile Marathon race in Tokyo 2023.

In the race held on March 5, 2023, 38,420 runners gathered from inside and outside Japan and started in front of the Shinjuku Metropolitan Government Building.
This year’s tournament was a year when the COVID-19 calmed down, so there was no limit to cheering, and many people rushed to cheer on the roadside.

What is Tokyo Marathon

The Tokyo marathon has the holding as the annual marathon sports event in Tokyo since 2007. Nowadays, Tokyo marathon has become a Japanese phenomenon as the one of the Top6 city major marathon in the world(WMM) from 2013. It’s one of the biggest marathons in the country, drawing elite runners from around the globe and local citizens. There are wheelchair races for men and women as well.

Shinjuku start point

Marathon course

The Tokyo Marathon course starts in Shinjuku and runs through many famous places.
It runs through the streets of Shinjuku, Akihabara, Ueno, Nihonbashi, Asakusa, Kuramae, and other tourist spots, and ends near Tokyo Station.
On the course, you can run while sightseeing in Tokyo, such as Tokyo Sky Tree, Asakusa, Kaminarimon of Sensoji Temple, and the streets of Nihonbashi with many long-established stores.

Asakusa Sensoji Temple

The time limit is as long as 7 hours, and a lot of cheering will liven up the race, so you can enjoy the fun of being at a festival.

Taiko team

How to enjoy Tokyo marathon

The excitement of Tokyo marathon has started from the Marathon expo. It is necessary to go to the Tokyo Marathon Expo by the day before to receive the Tokyo Marathon bib.
The expo is held in a large venue, but Friday nights and Saturdays are crowded, so we recommend going on Thursdays and Fridays in the morning or early afternoon.

Also, on the day of the race, you will run through the city, so if you visit the famous places by the day before, the race mood will be even more exciting.

Asakusa, Ueno, Akihabara, Sky Tree, Nihonbashi, Ginza, Shinjuku, and more are all wonderful tourist spots.

The day of the race

On the day of the race, the race will start in front of the Shinjuku Metropolitan Government Building.
You have to check in your luggage at 8:45 and get to the starting point by 8:55. It takes about 15 minutes to walk from Shinjuku Station to the gate. On top of that, you should arrive at Shinjuku Station at 7:30, taking into consideration the waiting time for security checks at the gate entrance, baggage deposit, and restrooms.

It’s still a bit chilly season before the start, so we recommend bringing a jacket. There is a jacket collection box at the start point, so if you don’t need it, you can ask for it.

A lot of drinks such as water and sports drinks are prepared on the course. Most of the food is not provided, so it is a good idea to bring an action diet if you need it.

If you have the chance, why not participate in the Tokyo Marathon, one of the world’s 6 major marathons?

Tokyo Marathon 2023 course map